FC Basel 2-1 West Ham United FT

FC BASEL v WEST HAM UNITED
UHREN CUP
WEDNESDAY 13 JULY 2011
KICK-OFF: 7.30PM (6.30PM LONDON TIME)

iPHONE APP I TWITTER I FACEBOOK I PODCAST


Final score - FC Basel 2-1 West Ham

That's it. The final whistle blows after a last-chance for the Hammers finishes with Hall crossing into the keeper's hands. Basel win the Uhren Cup for the 12th time, while West Ham can reflect on two competitive matches at the start of their pre-season programme.

93 mins - GOAL! - Yapi takes it and scores with a shot in the top right-hand corner. That's hard luck on the young Hammers, having looked like earning a draw against strong opposition.

91 mins - Faubert concedes a penalty. A long through-ball was controlled on the chest by Pak, who goes down under Faubert's challenge.

90 mins - What a chance. Cole does brilliantly to hold the ball up and releases the overlapping Faubert. The Frenchman is ten yards from goal but the cross is too strong and it goes behind. Basel then break away but the outstanding Tomkins shows great positional sense to cut out an attempted cross.

89 mins - Tomkins and Stanislas have played the whole game and looked among the brightest Hammers on view. Stech has also done well overall with some good saves. Hall, at only 17, has not done himself any harm with a lively 90 minutes.

88 mins - The corner comes to nothing and still the rain comes down. These are terrible conditions.

87 mins - Boa Morte is dispossesed on the edge of the box by Cabrai, who thunders a shot against the crossbar. The ball bounces back to the same player and he tests Stech with a rasping shot. Well done the goalkeeper with a good save. Seconds later, Cabrai tries his luck again and wins a corner with a shot that deflects off Tomkins.

86 mins - The announcer has just asked the travelling Hammers fans to stay behind for ten minutes after the game.

85 mins - A fantastic tackle there from Brown. The young defender looks over his thigh injury problems from last season.

84 mins - Either side could win this. The manager will be happy with the application of his men against a team about to start the defence of their Swiss title.

83 mins - Montano performs a timely interception to stop Pak going through.

82 mins - Stech had to be alert there to deny another Basel attack this time from Buess. Up the other end, Faubert finds Cole but the move breaks down.

80 mins - Voser cuts in from the left wing before flashing a shot wide of the far post from 20 yards. That was close and it was his last contribution before being replaced by Roman Buess.

79 mins - Quick formation update. Cole is partnering Piquionne. Brown is centre-half alongside Tomkins, with Montano at left-back. Hall has moved to left wing. Allardyce has seven Academy graduates on the pitch and the homegrown Hammers are not letting him down.

77 mins - Carlton Cole is on for skipper Faye. He looks up for it.

77 mins - Granit Xhaka is off to be replaced by Gilles Yapi.

75 mins - GOAL! - Stanislas keeps his nerve, despite the fans going wild behind the goal, and sends the keeper the wrong way. That was a good penalty.

Junior Stanislas

75 mins - Penalty to West Ham. Lee intercepts a pass from Cabrai and is through on goal. The same player brings him down just inside the area as he shapes to shoot.

74 mins - Boa Morte shakes hands with Xhaka, who is fit to continue.

73 mins - Boa Morte executes what looked a good tackle on Granit Xhaka. He is penalised by the referee, though, much to his surprise. Xhaka needs treatment. During the break in play, the Hammers are taking in a drink on the sidelines.

71 mins - Faubert and Tomkins to clear from two crosses in quick succession. Alert defending there.

70 mins - A curling cross from Stanislas on the right just eludes Montano. That was close. The youngsters are taking the game to their opponents as we enter the last 20 minutes.

69 mins - Despite the poor weather, it hasn't stopped the small cluster of Hammers fans breaking out into Bubbles. It remains to be seen if they will have an equaliser to cheer on what is proving a competitive work-out.

67 mins - A cross from the right, Stech mis-handles and Pak had an empty net from six yards but managed to pull his shot wide.

65 mins - Shaqiri is coming off after a man of the match display. He is being replaced by Pascal Schurpf.

64 mins - Cabrai brings down Piquionne 25 yards out. Stanislas and Boa Morte are over the ball. The younger man takes it as it favours a right-footer and hits a fantastic free-kick. It dips over the wall, hits the inside of the left-hand post, spins behind the goalkeeper across the line and eventually goes out for a goal-kick.

62 mins - Another change for the Hammers. Ilunga is going off to be replaced by Jordan Brown.

61 mins - Apologies for the break in coverage. Poor weather here in Grenchen has affected the internet connection. During the break in coverage, Stech made two good saves from Shaqiri, who also found time to shoot wide on another occasion.

53 mins - GOAL! - Granit Xhaka races through the middle before drawing Stech and, after twisting away from Faye, chipping the ball to the far post where Pak headed the ball into the empty net from six yards.

46 mins - We have made five changes. Off go Spence, Reid, O'Brien, Nolan and Sears. On come Faubert, Faye, Lee, Boa Morte and Montano. Basel have brought on Marcel Herzog in goal for Colomba.

Half-time score - FC Basel 0-0 West Ham United

Judging by the number of West Ham players warming up on the pitch, I think we could see a few changes at the break.

46 mins - After just a few seconds of added-time, the half-time whistle is blown. West Ham have had a few decent moments, while Stech has looked very safe in goal. Basel held the upper hand, though, and could easily have gone in ahead at the break.

45 mins - I wish my keyboard had a 'Shaqiri' key! The No17 shoots right-footed this time from the edge of the box. The ball flashes no more than a yard wide of the post. Not long until the break.

43 mins - You're probably getting sick of hearing his name, but Shaqiri is there again. Robbing Nolan and shooting left-footed. Reid gets in the way. Corner. After some penalty-area pinball, Tomkins clears his lines.

42 mins - Hall is caught in possession and Basel break. Thankfully, it's right-back Taulant Xhaka who leads the charge and his shot flies over the crossbar.

41 mins - It's absolutely chucking it down out there. Stech has to watch the ball carefully and his handling is superb as he collects Granit Xhaka's low shot.

40 mins - Shaqiri is all over the pitch. This time he pops up on the right and although O'Brien slows him down, he wins a corner off Spence. The cross comes in and Spence himself heads powerfully clear. The right-back has caught the eye tonight. He's a confident and intelligent player and drew praise from Allardyce following Monday's game against BSC Young Boys.

38 mins - Basel have undoubtedly been the better team in terms of possession and territory, but then I doubt they were up swimming at 7am and had a training session this morning! Sam Allardyce has said he wanted his players to be 'slightly fatigued' going into these matches.

36 mins - O'Brien gives the ball to Shaqiri about 25 yards out. The little man shoots, but the ball loops off Tomkins and behind for a corner. Shaqiri takes it and the ball hits a couple of players before dropping into the arms of a grateful Stech.

35 mins - Basel look a decent side, as you might expect. They come again through the middle, but Ilunga is in the right place to make a strong sliding challenge to deny Pak inside the box. Moments later, Shaqiri slides a pass through for Frei, but Stech gets just enough of a boot on it to slow the ball down. Reid runs in and thumps the ball away from about three yards from the line. Good save.

33 mins - West Ham win a corner. Stanislas crosses and Tomkins heads powerfully on goal. Colomba scrambles the ball away before a defender puts it behind. The second corner is short and easily cleared at the near post.

31 mins - For those wondering about Carlton Cole, he trained fully with the squad this morning, but is a little behind in fitness terms. He is here in Grenchen this evening cheering on his team-mates. On the pitch, a cross from the left is well claimed by Stech.

27 mins - Argh! That isso close to an opening goal for the Hammers. Sears is fouled inside the Basel half and Tomkins lifts a free-kick to the edge of the six-yard box. The ball hits a defender, but just won't drop to Piquionne or Sears. Basel break again and it's that man Shaqiri testing Stech with another low shot. Again, the Czech is equal to it.

26 mins - Shaqiri teases Ilunga before cutting inside and running along the face of the penalty area. He shoots left-footed, but it's straight at Stech, who collects.

23 mins - That's cracking football from West Ham. Hall holds up play before Sears sends Spence away down the right touchline. He beats a man before standing the ball up for Piquionne at the far post. He rises high, but his header hits Abraham and flies out for a corner. Basel clear and work the ball crossfield before it is laid inside for Granit Xhaka. He shoots unchallenged from 30 yards, but the effort does not trouble Stech. The game is warming up.

21 mins - Chances at both ends in the space of 30 seconds! First, right-back Taulant Xhaka crosses, Stech palms the ball away and then kicks it out for a corner under pressure from Cabrai. West Ham clear through Nolan and Sears is found by Piquionne. He cuts inside one defender and shoots low. Colomba can only parry before collecting at the second attempt.

20 mins - Shaqiri crosses and Pak challenges Tomkins. The ball loops miles into the air and Stech has to be confident and careful to make the catch above the threatening striker.

Basel

18 mins - Another cross from the left, but it's too high for Granit Xhaka as he flings himself forward to try to head the ball. The Swiss champions have taken the upper hand in the past few moments. As I type, Sears races down the right and crosses, but the bouncing ball is too strong for Piquionne to control.

17 mins - This game has a nice ebb and flow to it. Basel come again and Spence slides in to concede a corner. The right-back himself volleys clear at the near post.

16 mins - Piquionne works the left channel and wins a corner. Hall takes it short and receives the ball back before crossing. Tomkins rises high but cannot direct his header on goal. Basel break and O'Brien brings down Shaqiri. The Irishman is booked.

15 mins - Real quality from Shaqiri, who delays his pass before slotting the ball through for the overlapping Wieser. He cuts the ball back, but Granit Xhaka completely misses his kick and Nolan can clear to halfway.

12 mins - Little Shaqiri is a real talent. He dances past Ilunga and is brought down by Nolan. Free-kick. He has been likened to Messi, and you can see why. He is short, stocky and has a low centre of gravity. The free-kick is floated in and Ajeti glances his header well wide.

11 mins - The rain is coming down quite hard again. A host of umbrellas have gone up on the far side. The Basel fans are made of tougher stuff, though. No umbrellas in their end of the stadium! A few have even chosen to take their shirts off.

10 mins - The Hammers threaten again as Spence crosses low, but Sears cannot control inside the penalty area.

9 mins - Good strong play from Spence and Piquionne down the right. The Frenchman chests a high ball and beats one man before winning a throw. West Ham starting to gain the ascendancy as the Basel fans to my right burst into song.

7 mins - That's a good chance for West Ham. Hall picks up a pass and West Ham have a three-on-two break. Hall has Stanislas and Piquionne on either side. He tries to pick out Stanislas, but the ball ricochets back into his path. Hall shoots right-footed, but it's straight at Colomba in the Basel goal.

6 mins - Left winger Voser comes forward before crossing high into the box. The ball is cleared again and Cabrai picks up possession about 30 yards out. He shifts the ball on to his right foot and blasts a shot out of the stadium.

5 mins - Shaqiri makes some space by running through the middle before playing the ball wide left for full-back Wieser. His cross is headed clear by Nolan but the ball is worked to Granit Xhaka, who fires a warning shot a couple of yards wide of the far post.

2 mins - Not much action of note early on. Winston Reid makes a clearance and the ball drops to Piquionne. He turns and runs, but his attempted pass for Stanislas runs out of play.

7.30pm - West Ham get things underway kicking towards the mountains to my left.

7.28pm - Kevin Nolan leads out the Hammers for the first time. After the handshakes and a team photograph, it's time to kick-off.

7.26pm - Kick-off is rapidly approaching and we should see both teams very soon. The stadium is filling up late on, so we should have a decent-size crowd in after all.

Grenchen

7.23pm - The Uhren Cup itself is on a stand at the mouth of the tunnel. It is HUGE! Try to picture the European Cup and you've got a good idea of what it looks like. Massive.

7.20pm - A fair few West Ham fans are dotted around the stadium, which is sadly not very full. I wonder whether the wet weather has kept a lot of supporters away? To my left is a huge flag adorned with the cross hammers and Thamesmead. Great work. That's a fair old trek to make for a pre-season match. Hopefully they will be rewarded with a victory.

7pm - The FC Basel team has been announced - Colomba, Ajeti, Voser, T.Xhaka, Shaqiri, Abraham, F.Frei, Cabrai, Wieser, G.Zhaka and Pak. The Swiss club's substitutes are: Herzog, Park, Dragovic, Schurpf, Huggel, Yapi, Steinhofer, Zoua, Buess and Paiva. So, there is no Alexander Frei to worry about this evening, which will be a boost to the Hammers. The striker has been in hot form and netted a hat-trick against Hertha BSC on Monday night. Saying that, Xherdan Shaqiri is a real talent and caught the eye at the recent UEFA European U21 Championship finals.

7pm - The two teams are out on the pitch for their pre-match warm-ups. West Ham are wearing their away kit of blue and claret shirts, blue shorts and blue socks for the first time. FC Basel, as the home team, will wear their regular red and dark blue colours.

6.55pm - Just to fill you in with the team news. Mark Noble is on his own personal training programme at the moment due to his stomach injury at the end of last season. Scott Parker, Jack Collison and Robert Green have only been back in pre-season training since last Thursday. All four will hope to be involved in a competitive pre-season match soon.

6.41pm - Sitting just along the stand from me is Eberhart Munke, a German West Ham fan who lived in London in the 1970s and attended his first Hammers game at Wembley in 1975 - the FA Cup final! Eberhart has taken a few days off work to watch his beloved team in action and was a welcome visitor at the training complex this morning.

6.33pm - The PA system is playing a song called 'Home and Dry'. Very droll. It's soaking wet here and there is a team of stewards running around wiping all the bright blue  plastic seats with cloths.

Kevin Nolan

6.32pm - West Ham United's starting XI will be Stech, Spence, Reid, Tomkins, Ilunga, Sears, O'Brien, Nolan, Stanislas, Hall and Piquionne. The substitutes are Boffin, Faubert, Boa Morte, Faye, Moncur, Montano, Nouble, Lee, Brown and Hernani.

6.30pm - Well, the scene is very different in Grenchen than it was 48 hours ago, when the stadium was bathed in warm sunshine. This evening, it is grey and wet - but still warm - in central Switzerland. The team arrived 90 minutes ahead of kick-off following an hour-long drive from the team hotel in Spiez. West Ham's starting XI and substitutes have been named, with Kevin Nolan making his Hammers debut here against FC Basel.

Welcome to the picturesque Bruhl Stadium in the town of Grenchen in central Switzerland.

This evening, West Ham United will contest their second pre-season match in the shape of a meeting with Swiss champions FC Basel as part of the Uhren Cup tournament.

The fixture could see summer signing Kevin Nolan make his debut in a claret and blue shirt. The midfielder has worked hard in training this week and his improved fitness may see manager Sam Allardyce hand him a run out against the RotBlau.

Nolan is one of a number of experienced players who could feature against Basel, having missed Monday's 2-1 Uhren Cup defeat by BSC Young Boys at the same venue.

Winston Reid, Herita Ilunga, Junior Stanislas and Frederic Piquionne are expected to start, but internationals Robert Green, Scott Parker and Jack Collison are likely to have to wait for their first taste of action.

At the other end of the age-scale, England Under-18 forward Robert Hall could be handed a starting berth after impressing as a second-half substitute against Young Boys.

While results are unimportant at this time of the season, Basel can lift the Uhren Cup with victory over the Hammers after beating Hertha BSC 3-0 on Monday, while a draw for West Ham will see them finish third ahead of the German side.

A big win for Allardyce's men could even see them leapfrog tonight's opponents into second place behind Young Boys, who overcame Hertha BSC 4-2 in their other fixture.

Basel are a strong side that includes many high-quality players, including Switzerland internationals Benjamin Huggel, Marco Streller and Alexander Frei, as well as highly-rated youngsters Xherdan Shaqiri and Taulant Xhaka and former West Ham and Czech Republic man Radoslav Kovac.

A large crowd is expected in Grenchen tonight, with around 8,000 fans expected to pack into the stadium. Basel's supporters are a particularly colourful bunch if Monday's match is anything to go by, when many stripped to the waist and lit flares in on the terraces.

Following this evening's game, West Ham return to action on Saturday at Blue Square South side Bishop's Stortford. Kick-off at Woodside Park is at 3pm, with whufc.com providing live text updates for those who cannot make it in person.